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Japanese Paradise-Flycatcher - BirdForum Opus

Photo by jweeyh
Singapore, November, 2016

Alternative name: Black Paradise-Flycatcher

Terpsiphone atrocaudata


Around 20 cm not counting elongated central tail feathers

  • Black hood with some crest
  • Upperside varies from all matte black to mostly dark chestnut
  • Off white lower breast and belly
  • The tail has extremely long black central feathers (breeding plumage)


  • Resembles the male but lacks the elongated tail feathers and is paler on the back than the male of same subspecies.

Both sexes have black legs and feet, a large black eye with a blue eye-ring, and a short blue bill.

Photo by wigan24
Location: Jeju island, Korea


Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines with wintering to Thailand, Malaysia, and western Indonesia.


Three subspecies are recognized[1].

  • T. a. atrocaudata - breeds South Korea and Japan (Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu); winters Thai-Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, and western Java
  • T. a. illex - Ryukyu Islands
  • T. a. periophthalmica - breeds Lanyu Island (southeast of Taiwan) and the Batanes (Itbayat, Batan, Ivojos, and Sabtang), the Philippines; winters in the Philippines (Luzon,Mindoro and Palawan)


Deciduous and evergreen mature forests during breeding, varies a little more in migration and winter where gardens and mangroves may also be used.


Mostly migratory. Known food items belongs to insects.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Moeliker, K. (2020). Japanese Paradise-Flycatcher (Terpsiphone atrocaudata), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.japfly1.01

Recommended Citation

External Links

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